After watching a TED Talk by Arthur Benjamin concerning Fibonacci numbers, I was intrigued, to say the least. I have never really heard much about different number sequences and haven’t ever thought about looking into them, until now.
Benjamin talks about how there is a focus on children having to learn calculations that they will need for exams and how he would like to see maths being taught more creatively, along with being explored and enjoyed (2013). I find this very interesting. Throughout my experience with maths, the main thing that has always made me nervous is the thought of getting the answer wrong. As stated in my previous blog posts, I believe this is because I’ve always been taught what I need to know to pass and have never had a profound understanding of the subject.
The Fibonacci sequence was introduced by Leonardo of Pisa, who was also known as Fibonacci. He introduced the sequence to Western Europeans in 1202 in his book called “Liber Abaci”. The sequence begins like :
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144… and so on.
It works by adding the two numbers before together, to get the next number. For example:
1 + 1 = 2, 1 + 2 = 3, 2 + 3 = 5 and so on.
The sequence is often even said to appear in nature. The Live Science website notes that an example of this is sunflower seeds. The sequence ensures that seeds are always evenly distributed. It also appears in a range of other things such as hurricanes and galaxies.
Another fascinating part of the Fibonacci number sequence is the Fibonacci spiral. The Fibonacci spiral consists of a series of quarter circles inside squares. Their dimensions being the numbers from the sequence. The squares always fit perfectly together because of the nature of the sequence.
I have found this to be very interesting as I never knew or understood what the sequence was. It has really highlighted to me that there is much more to maths than memorising formulas and calculations for exams and tests and that there is a whole world of maths out there that I don’t know about.
After watching the TED talk and looking into the number sequence myself, I do believe we should allow children more time at school to explore maths. I think this will help with their overall understanding of the subject as well as making it much more enjoyable.
TED (2013) The Magic of Fibonacci numbers by Arthur Benjamin. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjSHVDfXHQ4 (Accessed 17 October 2018)
Live Science (2013) What is the Fibonacci Sequence? Available at: https://www.livescience.com/37470-fibonacci-sequence.html Accessed 17 October 2018)